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Cuba Formally Rejects OAS Membership

Cuba has formally rejected re-joining the Organization of American States, days after the group revoked Cuba's expulsion from the OAS nearly 50 years ago.

Cuba's official media published a government statement Monday saying Cuba's values are incompatible with what it described as the group's neo-liberal values of capitalism and self-promotion. The statement also accused the United States of exercising oppressive control over the OAS.

The 34-member OAS voted Wednesday to lift its 1962 suspension of Cuba's membership -- in place because of Cuba's communist government suppression of democratic values. The OAS said Cuba's re-entry would be the result of a "process of dialogue" under the group's "practices, proposals and principles" - an indirect reference to human-rights protections and democracy.

Before the OAS decision, Cuban officials said they had no interest in re-joining the hemispheric group.

In an essay published last week, Former Cuban President Fidel Castro called the OAS an accomplice to crimes committed against his country.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the OAS members assembled in Honduras last week to restore Cuba's membership, only after political prisoners are released and basic human rights are improved.

Clinton expressed satisfaction with the compromise measure that emerged from the meeting. She said Cuba can return to the OAS if it decides that its participation meets the purposes and principles of the organization, which include democracy and human rights.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.